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Is Contemporary Interior Design Right for You? Find Out Here

what is contemporary style interior design
Project Image: Miners Trail, Aspen

Table of Contents:

Before delving into the details of the evolution of interior design, let’s first understand what is contemporary interior design. 

Simply put, interior design can be referred to as the art and science of creating spaces within a building that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional. Although it became a designated profession about 100 years ago, the concept has existed for many years. 

The inception of the 1900s observed the end of an era marked by the artistic glories of Victorian craftsmanship, gradually making room for a heavily contrasting phase marked by the assimilation of Art Deco— from the 1920s to the 1940s. Influenced by these design movements, the 1970s interior design saw a departure from the rigid formalities of the previous decades. This era was characterized by its use of vivid colors, loud designs, and free spirits. 

As the 1980s and 1990s progressed, there was an emergence of minimalism and clean lines, mainly influenced by the rise of technology and the desire for simplicity. 

Fast forward to the 21st century, contemporary interior design has now evolved to reflect a more holistic approach to living. It is characterized by sustainability, with designers incorporating eco-friendly materials into their creations. Additionally, there has also been a keen focus on technological integration, with an emphasis on implementing smart technologies into interior design. 

Key Characteristics of Contemporary Design

what is contemporary interior design style
Project Image: Faraway Road, Snowmass

Contemporary interior design is characterized by three main principles.

Firstly, contemporary interior design often features clean, straight lines and geometric shapes. This creates a sense of clarity and simplicity in the space. Additionally, it is often coupled with neutral color palettes of white, grays, creams, and taupes. 

Another significant feature of modern interior design is the emphasis on open spaces, functional layouts, and creative storage. This is often achieved through open floor plans and the strategic placement of furniture to maximize space and functionality. Functional layouts ensure that every element of the design serves a purpose, thereby contributing to the overall usability and efficiency of the space. Additionally, hidden storage, modular furniture, and customized organizational systems help in reducing clutter.

Lastly, the use of natural elements such as wood, jute, and metals is also heavily prominent in contemporary interior design. Apart from incorporating sustainable ideas in interior design, the objective is to create a sense of connection to the natural world. For example, a contemporary living room can feature an exposed brick wall, or a bedroom might feature a jute rug to create warmth. The inclusion of large windows that flood the interior with natural light, creating a seamless indoor-outdoor aesthetic, is often witnessed.

Furniture and Fixtures in Contemporary Design

what is modern contemporary interior design
Project Image: Faraway Road, Snowmass

In contemporary interior design, furniture and fixtures play a crucial role in determining the space's overall aesthetic. If you are a fan of this modern art and wish to create a cohesive space that reflects the concept, here are some aspects to consider while selecting furniture. 

Minimalist and Functional

Contrary to traditional design that relied heavily on bulky and sumptuous furniture, contemporary interior design focuses on using decor and art sparingly. The pieces that are generally used are meant to be meaningful and catch the eye. Minimalist interior design revolves around the concept of ‘Less is more.’ Therefore, opt for furniture that prioritizes multifunctional features to maximize space. Additionally, you can also consider looking for pieces that have sleek, geometric silhouettes.

Quality Material and Sleek Surfaces

As explored, contemporary interior design is heavily influenced by the use of natural and high-quality materials such as wood, leather, or metals. Therefore, opt for furniture that features such materials to bring simplicity and elegance to your design. You can also consider looking for pieces with sleek and unadorned surfaces to highlight the natural beauty of the materials. 

Color Palettes and Themes

what is urban contemporary interior design
Project Image: Hyman Ave, Aspen

Neutral colors such as gray, white, or taupe serve as the foundation for contemporary designs. One of the best features of such muted earthy tones is that they are transitional, meaning that they can be adapted into other styles easily.

Additionally, when these neutral colors are coupled with several bits of bold and vibrant accents, they inject character and visual interest into the space. Bold colors, such as red or yellow, can generate a sense of drama and contrast, thereby creating a dynamic and visually engaging interior. 

Unexpected materials can also exude a contemporary vibe by mixing luxe materials with everyday items, such as leather with concrete or stone with steel. For the eclectic palate, blending modern with antique or sleek with ornamental items that don’t adhere to one strict design style can also usher in the contemporary design genre.

Lighting and Accessories

what is contemporary style interior design
Project Image: Hyman Ave, Aspen

Some of the most common forms of lighting accessories that tend to be used in urban contemporary interior designs are floor lamps, hanging lights, or table lamps. They serve the dual purpose of being a focal point in the room and also to enhance the overall aesthetic of the space. 

If you are not fond of these kinds of hanging lamps or floor lamps, you can also opt for cove or recessed lighting. They are not only easily adaptable to any style but also bring that dramatic element to a room that most people desire. 

Contemporary Design in Different Rooms

modern contemporary style interior design
Project Image: Gambel Way, Snowmass

Let’s take a look at some of the many ways by which you can incorporate contemporary interior design style into your kitchen, living rooms, and bedrooms. 

For Kitchen

contemporary style interior design
Project Image: Hyman Ave, Aspen

Oftentimes, contemporary kitchen designs embrace a simplistic and tidy aesthetic. To achieve this, you can explore various possibilities, including incorporating clean and curved lines into your light fixtures, opting for neutral and natural hues for cabinets, or introducing sleek metal appliances for an elegant and contrasting touch.

For Living Room

what is contemporary style in interior design
Project Image: Gambel Way, Snowmass

The living room is the space where people gather when they visit your house. The key here is to make it as comfortable yet stylish as possible. Avoid using any form of heavy drapes and instead focus on using natural light. You can also incorporate multifunctional furniture pieces such as modular sofas or low-profile coffee tables. 

For Bedrooms

contemporary interior design style
Project Image: Hyman Ave, Aspen

In contemporary bedrooms, simplicity, comfort, and tranquility are the keys. Avoid incorporating overstuffed armchairs, floral designs, or multiple pillows in this space. Instead, to achieve that perfect modern contemporary interior design, you can opt for soft, layered, natural fibers and symmetry in nightstands. 

Urban Contemporary Interiors: A Vision for Modern Living

To sum up, contemporary style interior design offers a fresh and modern approach to decorating that is both stylish and practical. From clean lines and minimalist aesthetics to neutral colors and innovative materials, it encompasses various key aspects to create spaces that are visually stunning. 

If you are someone who values both functionality and practicality or if you appreciate clean, minimalist aesthetics, then contemporary-style interior design is definitely the right choice for you. 

To help you achieve your dream house, we at ali & shea are here to assist you in every step of this journey. Whether you want a sleek, modern look for your house or a unique fusion, we specialize in crafting homes that match your style. 

Connect with us today. Let’s create the contemporary interior of your dreams together!


What are the colors for contemporary interior design?

Generally, contemporary interior design style is inclined towards the use of neutral color palettes of white, gray, and creams. This, when coupled with bits of bold or pastel color, creates a contrasting and visually elegant look. 

What is contemporary classic interior design?

Why choose contemporary interior design?

What materials are used in contemporary interior design?


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